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The Sadducees:The Urban Elite

The Word in Life Study Bible, New Testament Edition, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville; 1993), p. 71

May have derived from Zadok, high priest under King David. Tended to represent the aristocrats, priests, merchants, and urban elite in Jerusalem and other cities in Judea. Hostile to Jesus and His followers. Many served on the council. Most of the high priests in the days of Jesus and the apostles were Sadducees. Denied the resurrection or life after death, along with the doctrines of everlasting punishment and a literal kingdom. Denied that God controls history, insisting on free will and the responsibility of humans to make wise choices according to the Law. Held only to the Law of Moses (the first five books of the Old Testament) as supremely authoritative. Denied the existence of angels.